Benton Police officers will participate in the 32nd annual Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Arkansas at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 22. The BNPD leg of the torch run will begin behind Benton Junior High and will conclude at Everett Buick GMC. Community members are encouraged to cheer on officers and Special Olympics athletes along the route.

The weeklong Torch Run kicks off May 20 in all four corners of the state. The Flame of Hope torches will be lit and carried by officers and athletes throughout various cities for four days. Guardians of the Flame will converge at the Arkansas State Capitol for a ceremonial lighting of the Final Leg Torch on Thursday, and the Final Leg will consist of a 50-mile run to Searcy, where the Flame of Hope will come to rest at Harding Stadium for the 2019 Summer Games Opening Ceremonies to begin at approximately 8:30 p.m.

“We never hesitate to say yes when it comes to participating in this event,” said Sergeant Quinton Jackson of BNPD. “These athletes are the epitome of grit, determination and perseverance and inspire all who participate in any capacity in the Special Olympics events, as well as those who know them ‘off the field.’”

Jackson added that BNPD participates in various fundraisers year-round to support the Special Olympics cause, including the Polar Bear Plunge in January and Tip-A-Hero, which will be held June 13 this year.

“More details will follow on Tip-A-Hero, but the community is familiar with the concept and has come to expect it every year. We will once again be partnering with Colton’s to allow Saline County law enforcement and first responders to serve food for tips that benefit Special Olympics Arkansas. We encourage anyone who is able to attend the games at Searcy to do so and then show your support at the upcoming fundraiser as well.”

Since 1987 members of Arkansas law enforcement have run mile upon mile to bring awareness to the ability of those with intellectual disabilities. Through their support of the 15,000 athletes and their families, they have made lifelong friends and raised 7.2 million to date for Special Olympics Arkansas athletes.

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